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A Blog Post

Dave Chappelle’s Summer Camp

Comic Legend choses Loud & Clear to produce his socially distanced summer concert series.

This is 2020.

2020 has definitely been a year of change. We’ve had to rethink how to do pretty much everything we do this year. From how we do gigs, to how we prep gigs in the shop, EVERYTHING has changed.

Dave Chappelle, arguably one of the greatest comedians to ever take the stage, wanted to put on a couple of shows in his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio over the summer. With looming Stay at Home orders in place due to an overwhelming surge in COVID19 cases throughout the state, doing an arena or amphitheater show was simply out of the question. He had to rethink how he could do it, mainly in a safe manner for guests and talent alike.

Enter Wirrig Pavilion. A quaint and charming pavilion located just outside the small town of Yellow Springs. Constructed a few years prior by owners Steve & Stacy Wirrig as a family picnic structure, it would serve as a perfect place for a socially distanced limited attendance comedy show. This would be the home of what turned into a summer concert series which saw the likes of some of the greatest comedians in the world, including Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, Bill Burr, and Sarah Silverman, as well as musical performances from John Mayer, Erykah Badu, QuestLove, Common, and many others.

Overhead view of Wirrig Pavilion, complete with socially distanced chair circles.

Loud & Clear was called by Stacey Harper of Livenation to provide all of the production needs for the shows. After a quick meeting with Dave and his team, we put together the initial design. What started as a couple of powered speakers and a small stage, morphed into a full complement of L-Acoustics KARA mains and SB18 subwoofers, along with 8XT’s for front fills. Additional fill speakers were Turbosound iQ12’s and were used to fill in the back of the field, while keeping SPL levels down (not to disturb the neighbors). All audio control was provided by a Midas M32 and all mics were Shure ULX-D Wireless with SM58 capsules. Stage monitor duties were covered by our tried and true L-Acoustics 8XT speakers.

Lighting the stage was accomplished with 4 Source Four Lekos mounted to 2 towers of 10 foot general purpose truss. We used Elation Sixpar 300’s to light the pavilion red, per Dave’s request, as well as Chauvet Freedom Flex H4 Battery Powered Pars for uplighting around the venue.

Chappelle on stage at Wirrig Pavilion

Video was provided via 2 Absen X5 walls, featuring graphics and imag from the show. 4k video was shot with Sony FS7 cameras.

Dave wanted to bring in musical guests for a few of the shows. This included an All Star Bash for July 4th, headlined by none other than Erykah Badu. The pavilion would not be sufficient for this kind of performance, so we brought in our Thomas Engineering 40′ x 28′ Roof Structure with Video wings. The PA grew to 6 KARA a side and 8 of the SB28 Subwoofers. Avid Profiles were brought in for audio control. Lighting was bumped up to an array of Elation and Chauvet moving head fixtures. The Absen video walls grew as well. The epic fireworks display made it a night to remember.

Dave Chappelle’s Fourth of July Bash 2020

One of the most important parts of this series of shows was safety. All guests and crew were required to wear masks at all times. Each crew member and performer were tested for COVID every time they came to the venue, and all guests were temperature checked at the door.

All in all this was one of the funnest gigs we’ve done in a while. Getting to see comedy 3-4 nights a week from some of the best in the business was quite a treat. We thank you Mr. Chappelle for having us out there!!

The L&C Chappelle Crew